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Future growth areas for drug delivery device industry

1st April 2013


Drug delivery device developer Cambridge Design Partnership today announces that it has completed a research project with the Judge Business School in Cambridge, UK, to map out the market dynamics and future innovations that could drive growth in the global drug delivery industry over the next five to ten years. The report contains input from a cross-section of top industry figures, including six senior executives from the top ten pharmaceutical companies and two senior regulators from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The global market for “advanced drug delivery systems” such as inhalers, injectors and infusion pumps is predicted to grow from US$139 billion in 2009 to US$197 billion in 2014[i], and the report highlights a number of key factors that are likely to have a major effect on the structure of the industry in the future. For example, the phenomenon of the ‘patent cliff’, whereby over the next few years seven of the world’s 20 top selling medicines will lose their patent protection, with hundreds more set to follow over the next decade is likely to significantly change the nature of the generic drug sector. Also the drug delivery device market will be significantly affected by the rise in global population combined with the aging of populations in the mature healthcare markets.  Added to this is a shifting global disease burden, with the world seeing increasing dominance of non-communicable diseases.

Tom Oakley, Head of Drug Delivery at Cambridge Design Partnership commented: “We see the emerging economies significantly increasing demand for the ever widening range of generic drugs. As the capital markets follow this structural change in the pharmaceutical industry by changing their investment patterns the drug delivery sector must also adapt to take advantage of this opportunity. We predict exciting innovations in both low and high-end devices over the next decade. Given the clear need for new technologies this report outlines how there is a good opportunity for manufactures to create valuable intellectual property and new dominant positions.”

Matt Schuman, Senior Partner at Cambridge Design Partnership added: “Our intimate understanding of the emerging markets makes us ideally positioned to help the drug delivery industry rise to this challenge. We expect an opportunity in the generics market to centre around patient-purchased drugs where new consumer groups will be looking for value for money. We should learn from the FMCG industry and create differentiation and gain competitive advantage through innovations in branding, usability and shelf appeal.”

The report also analyses opportunities in the mature healthcare markets. Tom Oakley again: “Our Judge Business School colleagues concluded mature markets over the next 10 years will be driven by the necessity to reduce healthcare costs and improve outcomes. At first sight this sounds like a contradiction, but these market changes provide opportunities for innovation and we can see several exciting new approaches. We think in the future patients are going to be much more involved in their own treatments to reduce costs and smart drug delivery technologies are part of what is going to enable this change safely. As device developers we are going to have to think of new ways to increase the performance and safety of therapies at lower cost. We expect healthcare systems increasingly to make drug choices based on calculations of the total cost of a patient’s disease, and devices that can contribute to reducing overall costs could have significant commercial value. This means looking at system level solutions integrating drug delivery, diagnostics and health informatics in new patient-centred systems.”

A former Director of a top pharmaceutical devices company said, “If more thorough reports like this were conducted prior to device development many businesses would benefit by reducing the number of developments that reach phase two before being dropped. I would highly recommend paying attention to Cambridge Design Partnership’s findings.”

The report entitled ‘The Future of Drug Delivery Devices’ is available to leading manufactures in the drug delivery industry and other interested parties.

[i] Shahani, Shalini. Advanced Drug Delivery Systems: New Developments, New Technologies. Wellesley, MA, USA : BCC Research, August 2009. PHM006G




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